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Kanchanaburi
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 25 acres
Persons: 6
Category: Other
Host ID: 51968
Country: Thailand

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Last Updated: October 17, 2019


We give special consideration and benefits to those who have expertise in
- technology integration into monitoring agriculture
- video making skills
- solar power management and general electrical
- wildlife photography

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The idea first came to two friends. Take privately owned land that was meant for commercial use, and return it to nature, while at the same time making it financially viable to do so, and support a team of people who live on site. Basically protecting nature, while yet ensuring financial sustainability. The result was the OurLand Nature Reserve, thailands first privately owned nature reserve, which was setup in late 2015. Currently a small 4 member team lives on site full time, along with volunteers who come stay for short periods.

The reserve covers an area of about 15 acres and is the last wildlife corridoor in the lower half of the Salakphra Wildlife Sanctuary (Kanchanaburi). Located next to an abandoned housing project, the area serves as a corridoor between the government owned wildlife sanctuary and a major river, that animals drink out of at night. Human Elephant Conflict in the area is one of the major issues that OurLand works with local villagers, as areas around the corridoor are full of sugarcane and tapioca farms and wild elephant commonly raid these plantations. We experiement primarily with promoting wild elephant tourism and changing mindset of farmers towards the elephants.

OurLand also serves as a Snake Rescue and Education center, by helping local authorities deal with snakes which have wandered into villagers houses. Several species of snakes are kept in captivity for education for short periods of time, before release into the wild. There`s also the occasional bird that locals find that is handed over to us. In addition to this, OurLand also works on Banteng Conservation, a critically endangered species of wild cattle in Thailand, of which only 70 of them are believed to exist in the wild. OurLand is primarily responsible for educating foreign tourists about the Banteng Conservation Project and shows how the project operates. Other projects include trying to setup a firefly conservation project, a forest garden and river fish conservation (we have more projects that we have the resources for)

OurLand Headquarters is located in the heart of the OurLand reserve, and the focus here is to live in peace with the elephants, deer, wild boar and other mammals that come into the safe haven to forage for food. Besides all the nature conservation work, we are also working towards sustainability. We are working on converting Headquarters, to become more of an Eco-village. Currently headquarters is running off-grid with solar power, and rain water is harvested for use. Shelters are built by our small 5 member team who lives on site. We have a chicken coop(which has a long way to go) and are starting to work on cat-fish farming. Educating local staff about sustainability is another on-going project. New projects are constantly being setup by volunteers, and volunteers are an important part of the growth here.

The Reserve at this point works primarily as an education centre for those interested in learning about nature and sustainability. The reserve finances itself by educational groups or toursits who visit to spend time or learn about nature.

For HelpX volunteers

When writing to us, do mention why you want to come to OurLand and what you feel you have to gain from such an experience.

Life here runs at a different pace as in the `modern world`. Sometimes we are with guests, sometimes we`re out working with locals, sometimes tracking wild elephants, sometimes rescuing snakes or caring for them, sometimes building a new shelter, sometimes working on the forest garden and lots more. Work hours are not fixed, so dont expect a fixed schedule. We dont see this as work, this is our lifestyle, we want you to be a part of it. The idea is to inspire yourself to do what motivates you most that can help earth, have meaningful conversations with the team, inspire them and inspire yourself.

We`re not always about implementing new projects, and a lot of the times the best thing you can ask here is "How can I help?". Our short term volunteers(2 weeks) usually only have enough time to get used to everyday life here. Our longer term volunteers implement projects of their own. We`re very open to learning new things from our volunteers, and consider this a key ingredient of our growth. We want you to get to know our teams, and hopefully get lucky enough to experience an animal in its natural environment.

A lot of the time, we just spend in Headquarters, reading, or taking pictures of nature. Basically just being in Nature.

Love is an important part of the experience here. Love for nature, for the beings around us, and for earth itself. We have not quite perfected all the things we preach, so we expect you to bring with you a sense of understanding and willingness to teach and learn. We expect you to leave not only with a deeper understanding and appreciation of nature, but also yourself.

Volunteering period and Other Details
We prefer long term volunteers. But due to the high number of volunteers who have requested to stay only for 1 week we have opened up a

1 week "VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE" program - Bt 3,000.
"2-week Volunteer program" - Bt 4000

We prefer a minimum commitment of 14 days(21 days will be highly appreciated).

Income from Volunteers are also used to implement projects that further promote sustainability and nature conservation.
please contact us on facebook for a faster response

NOTE:
- we do not have wifi on site. Please get a 3G/4G sim card for yourself if you plan to stay connected.
- we are about 20 minutes away(by car) to the nearest town where we go a couple of times a week to get supplies

WHAT TO PREPARE
please take a look at our pre-departure file
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bUlC8MNm8Ds0MB_xKOBi21uc5naiV29l/view?usp=drivesdk

HOW TO GET THERE:
1. From bangkok a bus or mini-van is available from Mochid or Sai Tai Mai Bus Terminal to Kanchanaburi city
2. Once in Kanchanaburi, you can take the Bus to Erawan and get off at the 3199 coffee shop. (Please make sure you call well in advance before starting your journey, as we need to arrange a pickup from the coffee shop). The other option is to take a taxi which will cost you about 500bt.
3. We usually allow access here only by floating in. Besides being lots more fun, it also deters our guest from driving in, which means we don`t need to setup a parking lot, and lesser cars means more animals. We usually prefer if our volunteers can join our guests when floating in, as it makes it easier.

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INTERN JOB OPENING
Nature and Sustainability educator
- looking to learn about wildlife in Thailand while getting paid on the job?
- we are looking for someone who can guide and educate guests as they travel into a Nature reserve and an Eco-village
- ALL training will be provided and a minimum commitment of 2 months will be required.
- on this job you will be trained about
the Asian Elephant
The Human Elephant Conflict in Thailand
Critically Endangered Species Re-introduction - Banteng
Snakes of Thailand (Snake handling courses are available if interested)
- Basic Sustainability methods
- River floating and safety techniques
- an interview will be required

Applicants must have
- passion for nature and wildlife
- Strong communication skills. Ability to speak English is compulsory
- sometimes willing to work hard as part of a team on occasionally odd hours in case of animal rescues
- ability to learn about nature and wildlife
- friendly and easy to get along with others who live in the Eco-village
NOTE - applicants will have to go through a 1month compulsory volunteer program, so that they may recieve all required training. (cost of program is Bt8000 which includes accomodation and meals) after this we access if you are eligible for the continued for intern program.


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